It's with not a little disappointment that we note New Scientist's write-up of an artificial tornado device; Turns out it's a giant "vortex engine" designed to harness waste heat from conventional power plants and turn it into additional energy. I think we can all agree that a shoulder-mounted air cannon that sends whirlwinds whipping through the tract housing of our enemies — some sort of Megaman villain meets urban rezoning commissioner — is a much better investment.
[Louis Michaud] latest design is a circular wall 200 meters across and 100 meters high without a roof. Air carrying the waste heat would be blown in from vents on the sides, spinning around the walls into a vortex that becomes just like a real tornado. Once started, the vortex would draw in more hot air from vents in the wall, pulling it past turbines and generating electricity.
Michaud calculates that a vortex engine of this size would create a tornado about 50 meters in diameter and generate between 50 and 500 MW of electricity.
Artificial tornado plan to generate electricity [New Scientist] (Thanks, Nathan!)